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3 Flies for the Week: May 6

3 Flies for the Week: May 6

The flows recently dropped on the freestones, but now they’re back up and judging by years past, it’s here to stay. Odds are most of us will be stuck fishing tailwaters, stillwaters, or chasing warmwater species around town. You never know though, there’s always the opportunity to still chase fish on freestones during runoff! Later this week we’ll be posting a blog discussing how to avoid the runoff blues, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, let’s talk about some flies to fish this week.

#1: Radiant Jigged Mini Leech - Black/Purple sz12 (In-Store Only)

The mini leech is an all-time classic fly that seems to catch about anything in the freshwater. Its sleek, simple design does a great job of drawing attention to fish while still presenting as naturally as possible. Although every color variation seems to work for us, we’re highlighting the black with a purple bead this week due to its versatility in different water conditions. In stained water this coloration provides a ton of contrast that remains incredibly visible. In clear water this fly still perfectly resembles a leech, but with an extra flash that can help differentiate from the naturals. Not only does this fly do well in the rivers for trout, but it can work anywhere else. This fly can be actively stripped if you’re chasing bass or walleye, and even trout in stillwaters. Additionally with stillwater fishing, this fly can be hung under an indicator with the right amount of chop on the water. Although balanced leeches are the preferred method for stillwater indicator fishing, this fly can work incredibly well due to its long tail. If this is tied on as your bottom fly with a loop knot and there's some wind, this fly dances up and down and looks incredibly enticing to stillwater fish. The only time I wouldn’t recommend this fly on stillwaters is when the water is calm. Reason being is this fly will sit vertically, rather than horizontally, and look very unnatural. With many of our stillwaters though this situation rarely comes up. Without continuing on about this fly, it’s easy to say it can work just about anywhere regardless of what the body of water is or what the water clarity is!

#2: Ice Cream Cone - Red sz12

For those of you fish stillwaters you better know this fly! All jokes, but seriously this fly is a staple stillwater fly and should be in everybody’s box. Sure the ice cream cone is just a fancy zebra midge, but that’s why it works so well. Midges (chironomids) whether river or lake bound have a simplistic build that is easy to replicate with only a few materials. Two thread colors, a white bead, and some wire is all that’s needed to build a realistic and effective fly. Chironomids vary in color throughout the year, but in the early season we do best with larva patterns. The reason we like fishing larva in the early season more so than pupa is because water temperatures are still cold and the amount of bugs hatching on a daily basis is low. Therefore, fish will key in on the larva that are getting knocked around from the bottom due to higher wind speeds we see in the spring months. A bonus for this fly is that it can represent both a larva and pupa, so if fish are keyed in on pupa, this fly will still get some action. The white bead does a good job of suggesting the gills of pupa, while the body does a better job of imitating a larva due to its coloration. I will say however, I don’t think the fish are necessarily inspecting the bead and thinking “huh, that’s the wrong bead color for a larva pattern so I’m not going to eat it” or “why is this pupa red, shouldn’t it be black or olive?” I think stillwater fish are generally more willing to eat your offering as long as your fly is at the right depth and in a general area where they’re cruising at. But, there are times where they can be incredibly effective. That said, I’ve found very few flies that are as versatile and effective as the red ice cream cone!

#3: Carp Worm - sz8

For those of you who don’t like carp fishing, stop reading!! Okay wait, keep reading because you should try carp fishing at least once. Carp fishing is incredibly fun, even when you aren’t catching fish. And when I mean fun, I mean cussing at the wind, losing flies in the trees on missed hooksets, perfect presentations leading to nothing, and so much more. Haha! Carp fishing is a difficult endeavor, but that’s what makes it so fun! Plus, these fish are big and only live minutes away from most of us. Plus, there’s very few fish in Colorado that you need to use heavy rods and can pull you into your backing in a blink of an eye. Presenting to a carp is pretty straightforward: find a feeding fish, cast beyond them, drag the fly on the surface, and drag the fly in a one foot area from their face. From here you’ll watch the fish move to your fly and eat it. Sometimes the eat isn’t incredibly visible, sometimes watching their fins and how they react is a queue that they ate your fly and you should set. You’ll find that each carp eats completely different. The carp worm is arguably our number one fly for all carp fishing scenarios. This fly does well in small ponds, big reservoirs, and in the DSP. The combination of bead chain eyes and a tungsten bead allows this fly to sink at a moderate rate and always sit on the bottom correctly. Plus, the foam tail creates a natural flowing action that corresponds with the real deal. Give carp fishing a go next time you’re dreading the crowds! Just be sure to bring your 7wt and 0x fluorocarbon.

Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these flies catch a fish or two for ya. Two out of the three flies are available on our website and all are available in the shop. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Xavier on email at, or call the shop at 303-330-1292. Thank you!

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